Message of the Week

The Kingdom of God is at Hand

The Fourteenth Sunday Ordinary Time

Jesus sends the 72 disciples to spread His word.

He sends them to heal the sick and proclaim the coming of the Kingdom of God.

We, too, are sent forward to also proclaim the Kingdom and to do what we can to heal a sick world.

There is much opposition to this mission, but we are given His protection to go forward without fear.

Can we trust that He is with us?

 

Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/070322.cfm

Go and Proclaim the Kingdom of God

The Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus emphasizes the importance of proclaiming the Kingdom of God.

Disciples must put this proclamation as the first thing in their lives because of its importance.

Nothing else in life should come before the mission of a disciple.

Jesus understands the importance of other aspects of our lives as part of our mission.  But He also tells us not to let those things overwhelm the core of our mission.

Do you know the total mission you have, and how to fulfill it?

 

Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/062622.cfm

The Holy Spirit Will Guide You to All Truth

The Most Holy Trinity

The mystery and glory of God is shared with us, His creation, through the Holy Spirit.

Jesus’ life, death, and teaching has given us everything we need.

The Holy Spirit will help us understand what this really  means to us.

It is an unimaginably beautiful gift and it is much to absorb.
If we open ourselves to the Spirit He will come to us and help us.

Are you ready?

 

Readings:  https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/061222.cfm

Why Do You Notice the Splinter in Your Brother’s Eye ……

The Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

…..   But Do Not Perceive the Wooden Beam in Your Own?

Jesus reaffirms that what is inside our hearts will govern our actions.

Hypocrisy occurs when we ignore our faults and yet complain about others.

He stresses the need to examine ourselves, and change as necessary so that we can bear good fruit –  that is right action.

Jesus is our teacher and we can only find the right way if we follow Him.  Our thoughts and actions will not be  sufficient by  themselves.

Will we take a good look at ourselves and our direction, to ensure we will not fall into a pit?

 

Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/022722.cfm

Do Unto Others, as You Would Have Them Do to You

The Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus gives us the way to a life of discipleship.

He asks us to develop an attitude to love, to stop judging, and stop expecting rewards for our good actions.

The Christian way to change the world does not always make sense to us, but it is the way of God.

Jesus promises a reward in heaven but also a way to live in peace, knowing that you are trying to do what is right.

Can we change our approach to situations and use God’s way rather than our way?

 

Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/022022.cfm

Do To Others As You Would Have Them Do To You

The Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Jesus was the first to bring us this most common and most popular rule of life.

Similarly, we are not to condemn, judge, or be reluctant to forgive.

Jesus expects us to learn from him and live our lives accordingly.

His mission was to further the building of the kingdom and our part is to help human beings live in a peaceful and reasonable way.

Our actions can either help in the building of the kingdom or do things to tear it down.

How can we just make things a little bit better?

Can we apply what Jesus said to a part of our life today?

 

Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/021322.cfm

Do Not Be Afraid. From Now on, You Will Be Catching Men.

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

How do we know when Jesus is calling us?

Like Simon, we may be asked to defer our own judgment, and respond to God’s instruction.

And as Peter was surprised by the result, we may be also.

True conversion is reflected in Peter’s response: “Depart from me Lord, for I am a sinful man”

Recognition and acceptance of Jesus’ power and majesty, bring repentance and humility.

When Jesus calls, will we surrender to him, putting aside our plans for His?

 

Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/020622.cfm

Today this Scripture Passage is Fulfilled in your Hearing

The Third Sunday of Ordinary Time

Jesus states, before the Jewish religious leaders, that He has been anointed by God to serve and to save his people.

He reads those words from Isaiah – a prophecy- then proclaims it fulfilled by his reading.

Can you imagine the impact this would have on His audience?

God speaks to us in unexpected ways sometimes – ways that may shock us.

Can we be humble and listen?

 

Readings:  https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/012322.cfm

My Hour Has Not Yet Come

The Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus responds to the needs of the couple at the wedding feast of Cana.

He uses the opportunity to reveal His power over great and even everyday things, hence converting the water to wine at the wedding.

The guests and the wedding couple may not have initially known what happened but Jesus was at work in their lives.

The disciples noticed and believed.

God is never distant from us no matter what we are doing.

Every day of life is a miracle in and of itself.  We need to recognize this constant action of God in so many ways.

Can we reflect on this for our lives?

 

Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/011622.cfm

No One But the Father Knows the Day or the Hour

The Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus confirms that there will be an end.

Nothing will remain but His words will not pass away.

It requires that we keep all things in perspective.

It is now near the end of the liturgical year.  We should take time to remember what the Gospel has taught us.

Will we take some time to reflect on what we have heard and experienced?

Since we do not know when, are we ready now?

 

Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/111421.cfm

God Honors Gifts to Him in Accord With One’s Desire to Give

The Thirty-Second Sunday Ordinary Time

The rich can give much.

The poor widow gave all she had.

Giving from one’s surplus is good and giving from one’s essentials is even better.

The intention of the heart in giving should match one’s ability to give.

It’s really not about the value of the gift as it is about what one is trying to do.

Do we have the generosity to return to God a proper portion of what we have been given?

 

“All That She Has”, used with permission, by Howard Lyon Fine Art. Please visit www.howardlyon.com.

Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/110721.cfm

Love the Lord Your God and Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

The Thirty-First Sunday Ordinary Time

With these words, Jesus combines the supreme mandate of the Old Testament and the essence of His teaching.

Jesus shows us that the intentions of our hearts are the first and foremost thing that should guide us in all things.

If the intention within us is focused on the love of God and neighbor, we too can come closer to the Kingdom of God.

We need to love and act accordingly.

Are we correctly oriented and ready to act?

 

Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/103121.cfm

 

Master, I Want to See

The Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus healed the sight of Bartimaeus, a blind man.

He can also heal us of our inability to see Him clearly.

Jesus’ miracles attracted many followers because people saw the power of God in Him.

Bartimaeus was overwhelmed by his gift of sight yet many didn’t believe the fact that Jesus healed him.  They had no faith.

Jesus will perform miracles in our lives.  We can be healed of all sorts of spiritual, emotional, and physical ailments.

Will you let your faith in Him save you too?

 

Readings:  https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/102421.cfm

 

 

 

All Things Are Possible For God

The Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 Jesus teaches challenging requirements for those who follow him.

Sometimes the requirements can seem so difficult, that no individual can meet them.

But Salvation is the province of God and not something to be earned by human beings.

Jesus promises that God’s faithfulness will reward those who have given up much for the advancement of the kingdom.

Is it not time to review how we are trying to follow what Jesus teaches?

 

Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/101121.cfm

 

…A Man Shall Leave His Father and Mother and Be Joined to His Wife, and the Two Shall Become One Flesh

The Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus tells us to take His teachings for what they really are without qualifying them.  This straightforward simple acceptance is as a child might do.

He was speaking directly about the issue of divorce, which is so common today.

In His time, divorce was devastating to a wife, particularly if she had no other source of social or financial sustenance.

It can also be devastating now for couples who go through a divorce.

Let us pray for couples experiencing difficulties in their relationship that they may find a resolution.

Let us pray for those who experience divorce, that God will heal them and guide them to a peaceful future.

 

Art used with permission – Rev. Fr. Ronald  Patrick Raab, CSC-  Visit his blog at www.ronaldraab.com

Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/100321.cfm

 

 

 

Jesus Tells Us to Be Faithful to Him In All Things

The Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Be tolerant of others who do good works and orient themselves to God’s plan.

Pay attention to what you are doing.  Do not lead others astray.

If something about you causes you to sin, fix it!  Whatever it is, it is not worth your salvation.

Jesus values us as members of His body of believers and depends upon us to help advance the kingdom.

Do you understand this?  Do you believe this?

Will you act upon it?

 

Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/092621.cfm

If Anyone Wishes to Be First, He Shall Be the Last of All and the Servant of All.

The Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus reminds us that success is measured by how we follow Him, not by how others think of us or how easy our lives are.

The disciples were looking out for their earthly place of importance, and in heaven as well.

Jesus, using a child as an illustration of powerlessness, tells us that serving the least among us is a start to our success.

He reminded the disciples that He would make the ultimate sacrifice, His death, for the benefit of mankind.

How do we measure the success of our lives?

 

Readings:  https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/091921.cfm

Who Do You Say That I Am?

The Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus questions His disciples about who do they say that He is.

Peter affirms that He is “the Christ”, the Savior.

But Jesus demands more than an affirmation of who He is, both from the disciples and from us.

“Whoever wishes to come after Me must deny himself, take up His cross, and follow Me.

If we recognize Jesus as our Savior, must we not also do as he asks to follow Him?

 

Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/091221.cfm

He Makes the Deaf Hear and the Mute Speak

The Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus’ Ministry was always about teaching and healing.

His compassion for the poor and sick was evident everywhere he went.

It is easy to derive another message from this healing.

He cures real deafness and special deafness as well.

He cures real speech impediments and failure of our speaking the truth and his message.

Can you hear and speak?

 

Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/090521.cfm

Nothing that Enters One From the Outside Can Defile That Person; the Things That Come From Within Are What Defile

The Twenty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus tells us that insidious evil can come from within.

The heart is considered the source of human thought and emotion.   The heart is the center of our being.

The basic message is intention.  One can say “I didn’t do it”, but did you think it?

External religious practices and social niceties are not substitutes for a clean heart.

What steps should we take to purify our hearts?

 

Master, to Whom Shall We Go? You Have the Words to Eternal Life

The Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

The followers listening to Christ could not accept what He was saying, they listened with disdain & disgust.

He foretold His Ascension, indicating the body they ate would be His Resurrected Body.  It would be spiritual food, for spiritual life, now and after death.

Christ did not prompt his statement to say this was only a symbolic description, nor did he retreat from his statement.  He allowed those who wanted to leave to do so.

As a matter of faith, we face the same dilemma and choice today – lifeless symbol or real presence?

Will you see the Body of Christ shared in the Eucharist as a mere shadow of its real substance or will you choose the path of faith and commitment as Peter did?

 

Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/082221.cfm

Blessed Art Thou Among Women …

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

…. and Blessed is the Fruit of Thy Womb Jesus

Mary was born without sin and she was not subject to total death as we know it.

She was assumed into heaven body and soul.

Mary holds a special place in our faith as the absolute model of disciple.  She has been called the first Christian.

We pray to Mary to ask her to help us in our struggles with our lives.

On this special feast of her Assumption will you bring your needs and request to her to ask for her intercession?

 

I Am the Bread That Came Down From Heaven…….

The Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

……… Whoever Eats This Bread Will Live Forever.

The Jews had trouble accepting Jesus’ words – How could He be the spiritual food come down from Heaven?

They knew His earthly Father, His mother, where He lived, what He did… He seemed like one of them.

Jesus was about to reveal one of the central mysteries of our faith to His followers.

It was a mystery so difficult to understand and accept that He would lose some of His followers that day.

Do you accept the mystery of the real presence of Jesus in the gift of the Eucharist?

What does it mean to you?

 

Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/080821.cfm

 

I Am the Bread of Life

The Eighteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

“Whoever comes to Me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”

The Jews had trouble accepting Jesus’ words – How could he be the spiritual food that has come down from Heaven?

They knew His earthly father and mother, where He lives, and what He did.  He seemed like one of them.

Jesus was about to reveal one of the central mysteries of our faith to His followers.

It was a mystery so difficult to understand and accept that Jesus would lose some of His followers that day.

Do you accept the mystery of the real presence of Jesus in the gift of the Eucharist?  What does this mean to you?

 

Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/080121.cfm

 

Jesus Feeds the Multitudes

The Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The people were hungry for food and for the words that would give them life and hope.

The miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and the fishes was a prototype or a foreshadowing of the miracle of the Eucharist.

Jesus continued to feed His people with His teachings, His love, and His giving of self as He does now with us.

The Eucharist is a great miracle, in that we receive the actual body and blood of Christ – it is the greatest gift Jesus gave us.

How do we connect our hunger for life and Jesus with the Eucharist?

Do we see the real potential it has for us?

 

Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/072521.cfm

Come Away and Rest a While…. For I Have Many Things to Teach You.

The Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The people were distracted and leaderless.

Jesus understood their dilemma and sought to help them cope.

He knew that they needed a new vision and a new sense of hope.

He had them settle down so that He could teach them about the hope they needed.

Business and distraction can also affect our lives.  Can we settle down long enough to hear again what Jesus has to teach us about our lives?

 

Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/071821.cfm

 

He Sent Them Out Two By Two

The Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Apostles were to preach repentance, drive out demons and heal the sick.

What a daunting task!

Jesus prepared them to be rejected.

We also are sent to spread the gospel in whatever way we can, in whatever time, place, or group that we find ourselves in.  We, too, at times will be rejected.

We need to trust in God’s plan for us.  Can we balance this trust with our own fear of rejection?

 

Readings:  https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/071121.cfm

A Prophet Is Not Without Honor Except In His Native Place

The Fourteenth Sunday Ordinary Time

Jesus was rejected by many in His own synagogue in Nazareth.

Their expectation of a Messiah did not permit them to accept a different plan from God, that is Jesus.

How hard it can sometimes be, to get out of our own way and see the brilliance of God’s plan.

Jesus stresses the importance of faith to open one’s self to recognize something really different to be open to his healing and message.

Have we too placed limits on Jesus because of our perceptions of who He is and what He can do?

 

Do Not Be Afraid, Just Have Faith

The Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

With Jesus all things are possible.

He even has power over life and death.  He can also help with the trials and sicknesses of life.

Jesus’ ministry on Earth was to bring healing and a new trust in God as a beacon of hope.

He is always so very close to us that he can detect our reaching out to Him in need.

Can you trust in Jesus enough to open up your heart to Him and ask Him for what you need?

 

Readings:  https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/062721.cfm

Do You Not Yet Have Faith?

The Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus calmed the sea and assured the disciples that they were safe.

He challenged them to have faith because they had seen what He did and could do.

Now they saw that even the wind and the sea obeyed His commands.

Do you not believe that Jesus can calm our reaction to the sometimes violent storms in our lives.

Are we prepared to also remember who He is and what He promised us?

 

Readings: https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/062021.cfm